Genre: CG Animation
Director: Benjamin Renner
Cast:  Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks, Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key, David Mitchell, Carol Kane, Caspar Jennings, Tresi Gazal, Danny DeVito
Runtime: 1 hr 32 mins
Rating: PG
Released By: UIP
Official Website:

Opening Day: 28 December 2023

Synopsis: This holiday season, Illumination, creators of the blockbuster Minions, Despicable Me, Sing and The Secret Life of Pets comedies, invites you to take flight into the thrill of the unknown with a funny, feathered family vacation like no other in the action-packed new original comedy, Migration. The Mallard family is in a bit of rut. While dad Mack is content to keep his family safe paddling around their New England pond forever, mom Pam is eager to shake things up and show their kids-teen son Dax and duckling daughter Gwen-the whole wide world. After a migrating duck family alights on their pond with thrilling tales of far-flung places, Pam persuades Mack to embark on a family trip, via New York City, to tropical Jamaica. As the Mallards make their way South for the winter, their well-laid plans quickly go awry. The experience will inspire them to expand their horizons, open themselves up to new friends and accomplish more than they ever thought possible, while teaching them more about each other-and themselves-than they ever imagined.

Movie Review:

Unlike ‘The Super Mario Bros Movie’, Illumination’s ‘Migration’ isn’t based on established IP, so it is even more notable that we leave the movie with a distinct impression of the family of New England-based mallard ducks at the heart of this delightful animation.

For the record, the Mallards comprise of the initially risk-averse dad Mack (Kumail Nanjiani), the far more adventurous mom Pam (Elizabeth Banks), and their children Dax (Caspar Jennings) and Gwen (Tresi Gazal). Through a vivid bedtime story of predatory herons and other monsters, Mack reveals his aversion right from the start of leaving their nest nestled in a quiet pond somewhere in the Northeast.

Much to his dismay, Mack finds his wife and kids enamoured with the invitation by a flock of migratory pack of ducks to join them on their trip down south to Jamaica. It isn’t their collective disappointment but rather the frightening prospect of ending up grizzled and lonely as their Uncle Dan (Danny DeVito) that changes Mack’s mind, setting them off on a trip to experience life outside their pond.

What follows is a series of episodic adventures, including a chance encounter with a heron whom the Mallards spend a nerve-wracking night trying to figure out is friend or foe, a run-in with a brash pigeon Chump (Awkwafina) whose flock Uncle Dan lands in a tussle with for a Subway sandwich, a tangle with a Salt Bae-like chef to free his Jamaican parrot (Keegan Michael-Key), and last but not least an unexpected rescue effort involving a group of farm-reared ducks.

Each of these adventures is gorgeously animated – not only is the character animation solid, the backgrounds also have a lush, hand-painted look that hark back to director Benjamin Renner’s comic book bonafides. It is also packed with wacky hijinks, with plenty of sight gags to keep the young ones entertained and smart asides to engage their parents. Renner, who co-created the movie with ‘White Lotus’ creator Mike White, keeps the pace brisk but never frenetic, allowing space for each of the Mallards to learn, grow and transform over the course of the journey.

And like we said at the beginning, it is surprising how much we come to embrace the quartet of New England ducks by the end of the movie. We love how Mack steps out of his shell to dance both literally and figuratively with Pam. We also love how Mack and Pam grow closer together, and rediscover the love that had brought them together in the first place. And then there is Dax and Gwen, both of whom learn the difference between being brave and being foolhardy when confronted with danger.

To be sure, ‘Migration’ isn’t terribly sophisticated in its storytelling, but it tells its story with enough heart and humour to stick its landing. So even though you’ll go in cold to this waddle of Mallards, you’ll come out warm to their embrace of adventure, audacity and attachment. For a family-friendly time at the movies this year-end, we dare say it’s good enough fun and cheer to make it worth that trip to the cinema

Movie Rating:

(Packed with wacky hijinks to entertain both the young and young at heart, this gorgeously animated film overcomes familiarity with a genuine sense of heart and humour)

Review by Gabriel Chong



You might also like:


Movie Stills